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Title: Genetic co-structuring in host-parasite systems: Empirical data from raccoons and raccoon ticks

Many aspects of parasite biology critically depend on their hosts, and understanding how host-parasite populations are co-structured can help improve our understanding of the ecology of parasites, their hosts, and host-parasite interactions. Here, this study utilized genetic data collected from raccoons (Procyon lotor), and a specialist parasite, the raccoon tick (Ixodes texanus), to test for genetic co-structuring of host-parasite populations at both landscape and host scales. At the landscape scale, our analyses revealed a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distance matrices (i.e., isolation by distance) in ticks, but not their hosts. While there are several mechanisms that could lead to a stronger pattern of isolation by distance in tick vs. raccoon datasets, our analyses suggest that at least one reason for the above pattern is the substantial increase in statistical power (due to the ≈8-fold increase in sample size) afforded by sampling parasites. Host-scale analyses indicated higher relatedness between ticks sampled from related vs. unrelated raccoons trapped within the same habitat patch, a pattern likely driven by increased contact rates between related hosts. Lastly, by utilizing fine-scale genetic data from both parasites and hosts, our analyses help improve our understanding of epidemiology and host ecology.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; Indian Inst. of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal (India)
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Lab. (SREL)
  3. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, AL (United States). Alaska Science Center
  4. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; Univ. of New England, Biddeford, ME (United States)
  5. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  6. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources; Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Lab. (SREL); Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Odum School of Ecology
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC09-07SR22506
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecosphere
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Research Org:
Univ. of Georgia Research Foundation Inc., Athens, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; animal movement; disease ecology; ectoparasite; kin structure; mesocarnivore; microsatellite; parasite; spatial structure; Upper Wabash River Basin
OSTI Identifier:
1360804

Dharmarajan, Guha, Beasley, James C., Beatty, William S., Olson, Zachary H., Fike, Jennifer A., and Rhodes, Olin E.. Genetic co-structuring in host-parasite systems: Empirical data from raccoons and raccoon ticks. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1269.
Dharmarajan, Guha, Beasley, James C., Beatty, William S., Olson, Zachary H., Fike, Jennifer A., & Rhodes, Olin E.. Genetic co-structuring in host-parasite systems: Empirical data from raccoons and raccoon ticks. United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1269.
Dharmarajan, Guha, Beasley, James C., Beatty, William S., Olson, Zachary H., Fike, Jennifer A., and Rhodes, Olin E.. 2016. "Genetic co-structuring in host-parasite systems: Empirical data from raccoons and raccoon ticks". United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1269. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1360804.
@article{osti_1360804,
title = {Genetic co-structuring in host-parasite systems: Empirical data from raccoons and raccoon ticks},
author = {Dharmarajan, Guha and Beasley, James C. and Beatty, William S. and Olson, Zachary H. and Fike, Jennifer A. and Rhodes, Olin E.},
abstractNote = {Many aspects of parasite biology critically depend on their hosts, and understanding how host-parasite populations are co-structured can help improve our understanding of the ecology of parasites, their hosts, and host-parasite interactions. Here, this study utilized genetic data collected from raccoons (Procyon lotor), and a specialist parasite, the raccoon tick (Ixodes texanus), to test for genetic co-structuring of host-parasite populations at both landscape and host scales. At the landscape scale, our analyses revealed a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distance matrices (i.e., isolation by distance) in ticks, but not their hosts. While there are several mechanisms that could lead to a stronger pattern of isolation by distance in tick vs. raccoon datasets, our analyses suggest that at least one reason for the above pattern is the substantial increase in statistical power (due to the ≈8-fold increase in sample size) afforded by sampling parasites. Host-scale analyses indicated higher relatedness between ticks sampled from related vs. unrelated raccoons trapped within the same habitat patch, a pattern likely driven by increased contact rates between related hosts. Lastly, by utilizing fine-scale genetic data from both parasites and hosts, our analyses help improve our understanding of epidemiology and host ecology.},
doi = {10.1002/ecs2.1269},
journal = {Ecosphere},
number = 3,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {3}
}